December is here! Christmas and Hannukah are overlapping in their celebration this year (Note: Christmas lasts from December 25 to January 6th). Many moving parts add up to a well-celebrated holiday and one of those moving parts is safety. An unsafe holiday is no fun at all. Take a look at the following tips to keep you healthy, hearty, and hale into the new year.
The holidays would certainly be lacking if we didn’t have lights (electric and flame) inside and outside our homes as part of the ritual. There is a right way and and wrong way to use lights though.
- Make sure your outlets are GFCI. Designed to prevent electrical shocks, they will protect you with lights you may hang in your kitchen or bathroom(?) or outside.
- Don’t overload your outlets like Ralphie’s Dad in A Christmas Story. That can lead to a fire.
- If you are going to hang lights out of a safe reach, then please use caution with ladders and step-stools. Be sure they are level and all legs are fully extended.
According to the American Fire Administration over 156,000 fires occur during the winter holiday season. Taking care here will prevent Christmas tree fires, electrical fires, and cooking fires which can lead to total property loss and fatalities. The holidays should not be spent in the hospital.
- Water your “live” tree. Nearly everyone agrees, a well-watered tree is hard to burn.
- To ensure proper watering, give your tree a fresh cut before bringing it into your house. Slice a half-inch or so off the bottom of the trunk to aid water circulation in the tree.
- Keep your tree away from heat sources and make sure it’s level.
- Never EVER put actual lit candles on or near your tree!
- Be sure you have smoke detectors (with charged batteries) and a fire extinguisher in your home.
- For homes with fireplaces, when was the last time the chimney was cleaned? (The National Fire Protection Association says, “Once a year.”)
- Be careful with space heaters. They account for 40% of all home heating fires (source: NFPA).
- Don’t deep fry your frozen turkey. Thaw it first.
And don’t forget…
- Poinsettias (or poinsettas) are poisonous to both humans and household pets.
- Keep breakable ornaments out of the reach of young children and cats.
Clearwater Construction hopes that you and your family and friends have a safe and Merry Christmas, Happy Hannukah, and a prosperous and healthy New Year!